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book reviews357 clear and exciting description of the police response to the 1863 draft riots and another chapter on the police and the community, the book traces primarily the history of the police chief and police commissioners of New York City. Such a focus permits an interesting analysis of some aspects of policing in the nineteenth-century city. The book deals especially well with the expectations that various groups had concerning the police and the sorts of pressures that were brought to bear upon the top police officials. The book depicts, for instance, the many dissatisfactions that, during the early part of the century, led to the formation of a police department . It analyzes the ways in which the police chief and later the police commissioners were subjected to a variety of pressures—pressures from moral reformers insisting upon enforcement of liquor laws, pressures from various political factions in the city seeking partisan advantage from the police, and pressures from rural politicians resulting at one point in a state-controlled police department for the city. Such pressures , in tum, were reflected in the activities and factional fights among the police commissioners themselves as they attempted to make policy for the department that they were supposed to administer. The book handles these aspects of the police system quite well. But the extensive analysis of the activities of the police chief or police commissioners highlights how little the book deals with the patrolman on the beat and the ways that the police force shaped day to day life in the city. The book does not even tell how many arrests the police made in a given year or why defendants were arrested. Given the current interest in urban crime and violence, in the processes of urbanization and social control, and in the patterns of lower class life, it L· unfortunate that the author has not provided a more balanced view of the department, with greater emphasis upon the daily impact of the police in the city. Mark H. Haller Temple University A Short History of the Maü Service. By Carl H. Scheele. (Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1970. Pp. 250. $6.95.) Carl Scheele, in the introduction to this volume, states: "This, then, is an attempt to at least touch upon all important material aspects of postal history in one outline." And by material aspects one supposes from the context of the work he means a discussion of such items as postal legislation , the usage of stamps, the creation of postal services and roads and the like. If this, then, is the case, he fulfills his self-assigned task. The work is in fact an attempt, an outline and L· confined to some of these so called important material aspects. Whether it is, as well, a discussion of "all important material aspects of postal history" the individual reader must decide. This reviewer did not think it was. 358CIVIL WAR HISTORY The work is both a good and bad effort. It is divided into tliree parts: Old World Backgrounds; Colonial Postal Service in North America and Postal Service in the United States. The brevity of the volume, by selfexclusion , necessitates that each of these broad topics will, at best, receive scant attention. This scantiness is one of the frustrating aspects of the work. The documentation cannot be questioned because it is more than adequate. The selection of important data is also beyond criticism, for what is presented is important, and cannot be eliminated. What is disturbing, however, is the almost meaningless presentation of fact upon fact, data upon data, with little analysis, correlation or insight. The tables in the work gives one a clue to this absence of meaning. There are thirteen major ones, and most of them are numbers collected. This reviewer cannot help but think that with a little more time and effort , these tables could have been formulated into a more useful tool. Lacking in this brief outline are such important questions as the political patronage aspect of the postal service; the impact of the federal government as an employer; and the "ring" of corruption during the Star Route frauds of the Grant administration. On a whole, the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 357-358
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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